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Davenport into Kloten final

A determined Davenport overcame Capriati in three sets Keystone

America's Lindsay Davenport has reached the final of the Swisscom Challenge tennis tournament in Kloten after a hard-fought victory over fellow American and world number one Jennifer Capriati.

This content was published on October 20, 2001 - 18:58

Having beaten surprise Swiss star Marie-Gaïané Mikaelian in straight sets on Friday, Capriati looked well below her best at the start of Saturday's semi-final encounter.

Broken by Davenport three times in the opening set, the newly-crowned number one was able to take just eight points before conceding the set 1-6.

"I don't even want to talk about that first set," Capriati said afterwards. "I didn't feel nervous. I just couldn't get into my groove at the beginning. Maybe I wasn't playing as confident as I have been earlier this week."

Fightback

Following a tense start to the second set, in which both players dropped a service game each, Capriati did manage to mount a fightback, breaking Davenport in game five before successfully serving for a 4-2 lead.

"The first set had definitely been about Jennifer playing badly, rather than me playing great," Davenport later recalled. "So I hadn't really found my rhythm going into the second set and I knew of course that Jennifer was bound to start playing better."

Still there was time for some jitters, though. After querying an ace awarded to Davenport at the end of the ninth game, Capriati appeared to lose her composure and, shortly afterwards, her second set lead.

But despite being broken back to 5-5, the former child prodigy rediscovered her rhythm once again, winning the next two games with ease to take the match into a deciding set.

Decisive break

With neither player able to find top gear, the question in the third set was not so much who could find the winning shot, as who could avoid the most errors. The answer came in only the second game of the set, when two successive overhits from Capriati allowed Davenport a decisive break.

After failing to trouble Davenport's serve in the games that followed, Capriati found herself serving to stay in the match at 2-5 down. Defending one match point successfully after forcing Davenport into the net, she then surrendered the initiative once more with a double fault.

Seconds later the match was over, with Capriati wildly overhitting a forehand shot past the relieved Davenport, who now goes through to the fourth Kloten final of her career.

"As soon as she got that first break in the third set I knew it would be hard," said the disappointed Capriati. "Going into that last game I already felt as if I was too far back."

Throughout her week in the Zurich suburb, Capriati has faced questions about her new position at the top of the world rankings. But after losing her first match as world number one she insisted that she hadn't felt any additional pressure.

"I could get used to staying here (at number one)," she grinned. "It really doesn't make that much of a difference. I just have to maintain it by playing my tennis, and then I don't even have to think about being number one."

While Capriati sets her sights on the WTA Championships in Munich, Davenport is now looking to take her third Swiss title in five years. Standing in the American's way will be fourth-seeded Yugoslav Jelena Dokic who cruised to a straight sets victory over France's Nathalie Tauziat in Saturday's second semi-final.

Dokic next for Davenport

While Capriati sets her sights on the WTA Championships in Munich, Davenport is now looking to take her third Swiss title in five years. Standing in the American's way will be fourth-seeded Yugoslav Jelena Dokic who cruised to a straight sets victory over France's Nathalie Tauziat in Saturday's second semi-final.

The 18-year-old Dokic broke her opponent twice in the first set to go 6-2 ahead. The second set began erratically with both players failing to hold serve in five successive games, but once again it was Dokic who took control, winning the last two games to win the second set by the same 6-2 scoreline.

The young Yugoslav may not have Davenport's impressive record in Kloten to look back on, but after winning two of her last three tournaments Dokic is certainly in great form and more than capable of springing an upset.

by Mark Ledsom, Kloten

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